IT’S good that the non-party-political independence campaign has grown strong enough to stand alone without support from the SNP. I say that as an SNP activist for more than 50 years and counting.

Once a party gets into government it becomes the obvious home for those who want a political career. People join and stand for election who might be apathetic about independence (and who 20 years ago would have happily joined Labour).

They can be more focused on the personal popularity on which their careers depend than on promoting causes. Although not against indy, they can be suspicious of grassroots-led movements such as All Under One Banner (AUOB) and the political blogs which they do not control. It happened to the Red Clydesiders/Independent Labour Party in their time.

But AUOB is an essential antidote to the media-backed Unionist chorus that nobody wants an indyref, and that voting (and by extension, democracy itself) is b-o-r-i-n-g.

As is uncensored social media. Of course on social media you get insults flying about. Not just on political blogs. Some teenagers have been cyber-bullied by their peers to the point of suicide. Nobody blames teachers or parents for this.

I’m very glad the SNP are in government and can offer a political career to those who want it. It’s a different planet from when we were 15 folk marching behind a saltire! I still agree with most SNP policies. I get irritated because the SNP are more cautious than the Greens, but I realise the radicalism would not last if the Greens were in power.

We must always be grateful to the SNP for getting us our devolved parliament and for making independence mainstream. Cancelling SNP membership is counter-productive – any fall in SNP membership would be trumpeted everywhere as support for the Union.

However it’s good that we no longer have to rely on the SNP for spreading the popularity of independence amongst the general electorate. With the younger generation relying on uncensored social media for their information, time is on our side there.

We will have to rely on the SNP/Green government for negotiating independence when we manage to force the UK Government to grant us another referendum. If Holyrood has little leverage with Westminster, the grassroots (whether 100,000 or 1,000,000) has none at all.

But at present that’s a distance away and there’s no clear roadmap.

Meanwhile, all strength to the grassroots Yes groups as they reveal the alternative truths to the people!

Mary McCabe

I FIND many interesting articles in The National which impress me and with which I find agreement, but I don’t think I have ever yet seen an article like Kevin McKenna’s on Wednesday (My message to the SNP on ‘cybernats’: Stop perpetuating a Unionist myth, May 8).

This was a breath of fresh air which separated the important issues from the insignificant.

Anyone who has attended an AUOB march knows the true nature of the independence movement and the people behind it. If they haven’t seen or experienced this, I strongly suggest they go on the next march, or if they are unable to physically do this, to get as near as possible to the people who are taking part.

What you will discover are very happy, kind, generous and confident people who are helpful to others and not at all aggressive or violent, even in the face of Unionist provocation which follows them everywhere. That is the genuine face of the independence movement, and it is one which any Scot must be proud of, whatever his/her view may be of Scottish independence.

Of course there are people on social media who behave nothing like that, on a whole lot of subjects, not in any way restricted to Scottish independence, but they in no way “represent” our movement.

SNP “leaders” who get involved in the so-called “cybernats” condemnation, which is largely a product of Unionist propaganda, should be ashamed of themselves, because they are helping the appalling Unionist media to misrepresent our movement.

Andy Anderson

TOTALLY agree with Kevin McKenna today, using the language of Westminster against Westminster will not work! Our fight, our rules! Let Westminster use all the niceties while they plan the demise of ordinary decent folk! The problem with politicians (career politicians) is that they fall for the lie that it is all a game. Really it is a war, and by playing within Westminster rules the people lose! Time for those named in his piece to get less comfortable with the rich and more comfortable with the rest of us!

Sandy Crawford
via email

I READ with interest the article regarding scientists investigating massive stars (Astrologists are Making Waves, May 7). Unfortunately the word “astrologists” refers to a group of people who believe that the positioning of planets and stars can foretell our futures and other such gobbledygook. Much in the way that we can predict the date of Theresa May’s long-awaited departure from the political arena, I guess.

Drew Hannah
Dalgety Bay, Fife